“Why is the Prime Minister silent? Will the Centre continue operations against Maoists after the Railway Minister’s statement that Operation Greenhunt will be stopped,” BJP Deputy Leader Gopinath Munde said in Lok Sabha.
Dubbing as “shameful” Banerjee’s making common cause with the extremists, he referred to her statement questioning the encounter death of Maoist leader Azad and dubbing it as murder. “Will the Centre conduct a CBI probe into the death which has been questioned,” Munde asked.
Apparently embarrassed by the opposition onslaught, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee said in the Lok Sabha that the government would “ascertain the position from the Railway Minister” before saying anything.
In the Rajya Sabha, Leader of the Opposition Arun Jaitley led the attack on the government saying “what we find today is that the principle of collective responsibility is being breached and there is a disagreement on the policy of the government” towards Maoists.
He said the Prime Minister on several occasions has termed the Maoists as the single largest threat to internal security and all ministers are expected to follow the government policy as collective responsibility.
Noting that the Prime Minister has been silent on various issues like Kashmir and Commonwealth Games, Jaitley said, “Silence at times can be a weapon of convenience, but conspiracy of silence cannot be allowed.”
Making a strong defence of the Trinamool Congress chief, party leader in Lok Sabha Sudip Bandopadhyay said Banerjee took the message of peace and harmony to the rally and added that she was “totally opposed to violence and killings.”
“All political parties including the government should extend support to Banerjee so that the Maoist problem can be solved. She has given a new line which can resolve the naxal problem,” he said.
Justifying Banerjee’s visit to the Maoist-affected Lalgarh, he said Home Minister P Chidambaram too had visited the place last month and now the Railway Minister has gone there.
Both Houses witnessed uproarious scenes over the issue and the Rajya Sabha was adjourned for an hour soon after it met for the day. The Upper House witnessed a walkout by BJP which demanded a response from the Prime Minister on the issue.